Green Party walks with men and women of New York City's Transit Workers Union 100.
Green Party leaders express support of transit workers coupled with
strong criticism for the MTA, Governor Pataki, and Mayor Bloomberg
in their disregard for union members, calling for repeal of unjust
The Green Party of New York (GPNY) supports the Transit Worker Union 100 (TWU100) members in a request for reasonable compensation for their valuable work and the right to protect the welfare of themselves and their families. The TWU100's recent strike, called against a Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) "final offer" in
which the MTA puts less money into the pension fund than the nominal pay increase offered, was wrongfully portrayed as a greedy attempt at a pay raise and attack on the New York economy. Governor Pataki and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg furthered the assertions, labeling union leaders "thuggish'' and "selfish.'' Green Party leaders call on a need to recognize the MTA's attempt at cuts which they believe could also set a precedent threatening compensation to all public service workers.
"It is a huge disrespect to the people who offer us this obviously valuable and irreplaceable service while working under undesirable conditions. All public services workers should consider this a threat, from school teachers to police and fire department workers. The union members do not need to be labeled as villains in the eyes of their neighbors" said Gloria Mattera, Co-chair of the New York State Green Party. "Perhaps we should have Pataki and Bloomberg to get out of their limousines for a day and spend it working in our subways. We are talking about people who live here and contribute to our economy on a daily basis, not steal from it. All New Yorkers, should be more than happy to show appreciation for our people in uniform and shop in their own neighborhoods and ignore Pataki and Bloomberg."
GPNY also condemn Taylor Laws which take away worker's rights to refuse to work without reasonable and fairly negotiated compensation. "While the Taylor laws puts heavy penalties on public service working people it does nothing to penalize government-appointed representatives, namely the Metropolitan Transit Authority," explained Mattera "In effect, those representatives, the MTA, can act without accountability to the public nor to the working people at the negotiating table. The Taylor Law must be repealed if public service workers are to have a fair voice in contract negotiations. The fines imposed upon TWU100 only serve to further demonize people who only want what is just."
The Green Party also expressed support on a national level, sharing leaflets and information on strike locations via the internet to members of their National Committee and Peace Action Committee which also recognized TWU100's participation in anti-war efforts. "The requests by the workers of TWU100 and their action is a beacon to working people everywhere. Their requests are reasonable and should be a model for what any working person might expect from an employer no matter where they are. We agree with TWU100 President Roger Toussaint when he says "our battle is your battle," stated Rebbecca Rotzler, co-Chair of the Green Party of the Untied States.